What has happened in the last two months since China?
Time to Make a note of the impressions is hardly, we limit ourselves to observe and discover. Many experiences in my head yet want to be held. From the tropical city of Jinghong (Süd-China) We are in early July on the bustling market town Luang Namtha in northern Laos in the Golden Triangle to Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand) traveled, before it went on the popular university town of Chiang Mai to the Burmese border into sleepy village of Mae Sot. Here we feel for the first time “burmesischen Wind”, see obvious differences between Thais and Burmese…
From Mae Sot on the border with Myawaddy
In late July the time has come. A new country is calling us and is just a few meters. Myanmar, which many still know as Burma and call it as many locals as, is within your grasp. We are in the westernmost tip of Thailand, in Mae Sot, enjoy the kilo for the last time, so we think, the coveted juicy-sweet papaya and mangosteen. With backpacks full of provisions we boots in the midday heat to the market of Mae Sot. Here go the Songtheaws, the Thai taxis, the Burmese border from, Of course only, when they are full. After about half an hour equipped with narrow benches loading area is full. Crowded on tight we sit between ten Burmese or. Thais – the difference is often only by the Burmese Thanaka Painting the face recognizable to us – market purchases and our luggage. About, the yellowish white paste is exclusively for women and children apparently been ca. 2000 Used years. It is produced from a finely grated bark of Thanaka tree or Indian Holzapfel and serves as a sunscreen and anti-blemishes – pure natural cosmetics!
Shortly before the border all have to get out. Crossing the border runs on foot. Once we have the exit stamp in the passport of Thailand, it lies in front of us, the so-called "Friendship Bridge". Myanmar and Thailand separates at this point a small river. In the middle of the bridge, we look to the left on the busy Mae Sot with patrolling policemen and the right to also bustling, though a bit dingy Myawaddy. While we have previously worried us in Bangkok for a visa, allowed locals by boat between the two countries travel back and forth. We start dreaming, what would it look without any visa regime the world? Prestigious and philosophizing is no time. We are now in a stateless territory and want still further west in the colonial port city of Mawlamyine travel.
The entry into Myanmar runs smoothly. We are waved by a friendly Burmese to a small stone house. Again, it is, fill out an entry form, although the visa this time sticks already in our Pass. Everything is checked again, made a photo, before the awaited punch lands on the passport. But now, 28 Days Myanmar ahead.
Photo route between Thailand and Myanmar
From Myawaddy to Mawlamyine
It was clear. Why Burmese taxi driver should behave differently than in the rest of Southeast Asia? We have just a few hundred meters across the border and are promptly accosted by a driver, where we want. Only bring money, fill the stomach and empty the bladder, we think. But he does not let up. In the "shared Van" is a spotless, gray car, where already three other passengers sitting. Better it can not run for us, as well as depart this transport only, when they are full, except you pay more. Since I had previously read but, leave that white vans to Mawlamyine only at the next crossing over, ringing alarm bells with me any buried. Why am I so suspicious because of the color? Immoderate, I'm just ten minutes in the country. Suspicion stirs anxiety, Jammed fear. Quick wiped the doubt, I go to a dark Hockklo in a small shop, while Sven drinks and food ordered.
In the border town of Myawaddy we encounter few other tourists. Most fly from A to B. As so often in touristy areas it is suddenly there again, the curiosity for the other. Many Burmese look at us with big eyes, many smiling. And we? We are just and marvel at the similarities between Myanmar and southern India. Almost all men wear the typical Kerala Longyi, a most checkered floor-length sarong, and chew betel nuts euphoric, which are considered in some countries as a drug. Therefore, so many blood-red spots come on the floor. No wonder, Myanmar was one of the 19. Century colony of British India. Only 1948 got the country back its independence.
Our passengers are a young couple beginning 20 from Mawlamyine and a drunken senior Burmese, takes place with a big bag full of Rambutan fruits in the trunk. Seemingly out of sheer excitement of the older rider babbles again upon us and repeated the few words, he has understood, Mae Sot, Mae Sot, Myawaddy, hello, hello. He amused himself splendidly. Suddenly he holds from behind his cell phone in front of our face and encourages us to laugh with a mischievous „photo, photo!ʱ??. To his exuberant enthusiasm we make a Selfie, on which he is also seen. After we asked ourselves, what he needs to have well-taken to be, tells us the driver, he had drunk a little too much. Then everything is good! The scratched phase quickly goes over in a calmer. Eyes closed and inspired by his sack Rambutan, chews the Burmese in the trunk slowly on a betel nut, before it sinks into the realm of dreams.
From the young Burmese, we learn about his country – about festival, there is always somewhere to celebrate and over the Burmese Pride on everything, what comes out of Burma. So should a portion of rice, which is exported from Thailand, have been originally cultivated in Myanmar. This popular with tourists in Thailand Water Festival (Songkran) had its origin in Myanmar. It seems, as if a certain frustration in the words resonate. Who can blame him? The people are very poor, slowly it goes uphill. But they stick together, as we shall later noticed. Laughing, he adds, Myanmar would soon be successfully, although it will still take. Across the country there are only organic foods, as in agriculture no pesticides are used. We can be thrilled!
But who goes to the supermarket, will quickly: the market is flooded with foreign products from neighboring countries downright. The country is strategically located between India, China and Thailand. All three countries, particularly China, invest in Myanmar. Chinese buses in Chinese good roads, Thai green tea, Indian Coffee, but also Indonesian milk and much more.
The journey takes us first through a well-developed, paved highway. Two weeks ago, the road was not passable, tells us of Burmese. Rebels of the Karen minority had delivered a violent confrontation with the military, are now but disappeared in the woods. Burmese traders and others had involuntarily during this time remain in Mae Sot. Since then, the army took control in the form of numerous bases, the key link to the West. I have to swallow, when we stop at a base, for no reason. The Burmese extends the soldiers cool water and an energy drink through the window and tells us, the military is good and important for the country's stability. During the ride there are three further passport checks, the driver assumes for us. As a foreigner, we can not go anywhere. We are located in Karen State. For certain sections of road tolls to be paid.
Shortly before we have to get off Mawlamyine. As in the mountains of China is the car to a small "car wash", consisting of a tube with soapy water, lathered directly on the street and freed from the red dust. The car has to sparkle apparently, if the destination is reached. At the next police check seems to be something not to vote. The car has no license, to drive in Mawlamyine. Consequently, all must unceremoniously change vehicles, before every guest is brought to its destination.